Poem of the Week

Whereabouts

by Marcus Jackson

—to Nicole

Finished early at the library,
I strolled Canal Street to fill
empty hours
before we’d meet home for dinner.

Late-winter light sneered,
reluctant to leave
the streets, bargain tables
with t-shirts or imposter purses,
jewelry coves
where gold necklaces refracted
from squares of scarlet felt.

All down Mulberry, arched
garlands of festival bulbs
shined champagne.

From Italian restaurant stoops,
waiters with handsome accents
lured tourists by describing
entrées like landscapes.

At Ferrara’s desert café,
the wait bent
halfway up the clogged block.
I whittled inside, browsed
glass cabinets of cookies,
yellow-shelled cannolis,
cakes displayed
on paper placemats
that looked like lace.

I arrived 40 minutes late.
You balanced, hand
against bedroom door-jamb,
pulling off your office heels.

Once you noticed the bakery box
under my arm, your face calmed—
my earlier whereabouts
evidenced in sweetness
we would fork from the same plate.

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